How to service your customers on Facebook in 2016

How to service your customers on Facebook in 2016

Caz Yetman

Almost one-third of consumers use Facebook to get support from customer service teams (ZDNet)

It’s no wonder then, that Facebook has been significantly developing its brand presence to help organisations embrace the platform as a serious customer service channel. 

This is a brief guide to help organisations understand how to use new Facebook features to take their customer service to the next level.

Redesigned inbox

What: The redesigned inbox helps admins view message streams from a customer, quickly view basic profile information (e.g. location), tag conversations and add notes about customers.

Why: Brands no longer need to move customers to email from Facebook, which can be frustrating for the customer. It means organisations have the ability to solve complex issues within one channel and provide a better customer experience.

How: Public conversations are still important, so there is no need to move every conversation to the inbox. Its primary use is for when a private message would be more appropriate e.g when personal information about a customer is required.

econsultancy fb inbox

Display response times and create ‘Away Messages’

What: Brand Pages now display average response times and when brands are unavailable.

Why: 71% of online customers expect to receive assistance within 5 minutes of reaching out to a company on Facebook. Although brands have improved their response rate by 143% on Facebook over the last year (Social Bakers), it’s not always the case that brands respond immediately. This Facebook feature has been developed to help set customer expectations by brands.

How: Average response times for Pages are calculated for each page automatically, but organisations can now change what is displayed, to help set expectations. For example, if a Page typically responds to messages within an hour, they can set their visible response time to within a day to help set customer expectations. They can also configure an ‘Away’ mode, to let customers know they are currently unavailable to respond to messages quickly as usual, as well as creating ‘Away Messages’ and ‘Instant Replies’ (i.e. like an automatic email).

Monitor and respond to comments

What: Facebook has created a new tool that businesses can use to monitor and respond to comments on their Pages.

Why: Almost 90% of customer Facebook comments on company Pages are ignored (Locowise). While not all posts necessarily need an answer, brands are missing out on building relationships with customers, and are at risk of losing customers if they don’t respond.

How: This can be accessed within the ‘Activity’ tab. Here, admins can quickly identify comments that need to be responded to, view a snapshot of information about the customer and manage workflow like marking comments as ‘read’.


The recent changes made by Facebook really goes to show how email and other archaic channels are becoming obsolete, and that the future is social.

Organisations need to embrace these changes. There’s no excuses anymore – It means a better customer experience, more simplified internal processes, and rewards when organisations get it right.

*Thanks to jeff_golden for the image.